Just over a year into operation, Agua Restaurant & Lounge has continually wowed diners with its sophisticated yet laid back ambiance and culinary delights that reflect the melting pot of nationalities working tirelessly behind the scenes.
Chefs from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Spain, Peru, Austria, Malaysia, India and Italy are currently creating some memorable dishes that keep customers coming back for more.
In recent months, owners Walter Fajette and Cristiano Vincentini have invested substantially in their restaurant, bringing on board Moreno, an accomplished chef from Italy who hails from a two starred Michelin restaurant named Perbellini “We are excited that Moreno has joined our team,” Cristiano confirms. “We already have an incredibly strong team, each of whom brings their own expertise to the plate. Moreno will further strengthen the culinary offerings for our customers.”
Desserts have been Moreno’s first focus and diners are being treated to such delights as meltingly soft hazelnut semi-freddo coated in chocolate (a kind of nutella on ice) as well as warm strawberry merigata and a beautiful millefuille.
They have also employed the specialist talents of pastry chef Davide Daffre (for the last 10 years he was the chef and part-owner of a very busy restaurant in Venice) who was, at the time this review was undertaken, knocking up the most tender and delicious gnocchi for me, coated lavishly in a bright green deeply-flavoured basil and garlic pesto sauce.
Cristiano says collaboration between all the chefs was the key for the creation of their brand new dinner menu which kicked off mid January.
Agua has also extended the use of its premises by purchasing a brand new awning fixture which allows for comfortable dining al fresco on their extensive patio area to the side of the restaurant.
“The awning has been a big hit with our customers, especially during the busy Christmas season,” Cristiano confirms. “We have been able to cater to up to 150 diners which has been useful for accommodating big groups.”
Cristiano says they intend to use the patio area right up until the hot summer season and are currently trying out methods of cooling the space via specialist misting equipment to keep the area cool all year round.
Further expansion at Agua includes a fabulous wine cellar that is now enclosed in special temperature and humidity-controlled casing, enabling the owners to bring in and properly store some truly magical wines.
“As well as relying on our local distributors for great wines we have now begun importing wines directly from Europe,” Cristiano explains. “For example: Ornellaia 1997, Barolo 1997, Messorio and Masseto.”
At the same time Cristiano and Walter have hired new bar staff, Wayne an expert mixologist from Australia, he is adding his own special flair and expertise into the mix.
Wayne and Graziella (Agua’s original bartender) they have created a brilliant new list.
“New cocktails on the menu include cucumber & elderflower Martini, Key Lime pie Martini and Size Zero Champagne cocktail,” Cristiano says. “They have been a real hit with our customers.”
Saturday brunch still keeps customers coming back for more, with its own take on brunch – offering a fantastic selection of appetisers buffet-style as other brunch menus do, and then allowing diners to choose a main and a dessert off the menu. Cristiano says the menu for brunch is always evolving and currently includes such delights as Blue Point fresh oysters, ceviches, carpacci, Parma ham, shrimp cocktail, lobster crepes, entrecote steak, lamb shank, fresh snapper and much more.
Cristiano says that there has been terrific feedback from customers in general with regard to all the upgrades and new investments.
“Competition is continually getting tougher in Cayman’s restaurant business,” he confirms, “but, judging by our happy customers, we think we are on the right track at Agua.”